Announcing the LEAP Impact Class of 2018-2019
Formerly known as the Emerging Leaders Program, LEAP Impact: Leadership Development for Nonprofit Staff is a three-part, six-month program designed to develop Asian and Pacific Islander staff for future and current leadership and management roles in nonprofit organizations and increase the retention of those committed to working in the nonprofit sector. The program provides 16 participants each year with an opportunity to receive 80 hours of leadership development training and 6 hours of executive coaching.
We are excited to officially announce the LEAP Impact Class of 2018-2019!
LEAP Impact Class of 2018-2019:
Nisha Baliga, Deputy Director at Hester Street (New York, NY)
Sai Chang, Development Manager at Project SUCCESS (Minneapolis, MN)
Alexander Fernandez, Associate Director of Systems Innovation at iMentor (Oakland, CA)
Veiongo Finau, Community Organizer/Program Coordinator at One East Palo Alto (East Palo Alto, CA)
Su Young Jung, Associate Director of Community Programs at Womankind (New York, NY)
Myoungmi Kim, Program Director at Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (Bayside,
Fatima Malik, Director of Development & Communications at South Asian Youth Action (Elmhurst, NY)
Janet McIntyre, Vice President of Programs and Training at Executive Service Corps of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Maria Kei Oldiges, Social, Economic, and Environmental Impact Analyst at Beneficial State Foundation (Oakland, CA)
Stephen Pham, Associate Partner at The Learning Accelerator (Seattle, WA)
Lauren Pongan, Network Innovations Manager at Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (Oakland, CA)
Rachelle Samson, Strategic Partnerships Director at Visual Communications Media (Los Angeles, CA)
Nira Singh, Director of Behavioral Health at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (San Jose, CA)
Kyle Lucia Wu, Programs & Communications Manager at Kundiman (New York, NY)
Lisa Xiong, Director of Training at Neighborhood Development Center (St. Paul, MN)
Shuhei Yamamoto, Managing Director of Social Media Marketing at Teach For America (Chicago, IL)
Nisha Baliga is Deputy Director at Hester Street, a New York based non-profit technical assistance provider whose mission it is to ensure that cities and neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. At Hester Street she has led and designed several large-scale innovative community-driven processes including New York City’s first ever Cultural Plan, a project that reached over 200,000 New Yorkers. Prior to Hester Street, Nisha spent a decade in the Urban Design and Planning Studio at the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle during which she lived and worked in Arusha, Tanzania for almost two years. Nisha spent her childhood in India, received her undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Urban Planning from Columbia University, where her research and thesis explored Community Based Upgrading and Tenure Regularization methods in the informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids.
Sai Chang is a first generation Hmong American development and communications professional from Minneapolis, Minnesota whose nonprofit career is centered on service, community, arts and education. Through her work with various organizations and collectives, Sai amplifies community voices and helps provide platforms for artists and members of her communities. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has a B.A. in Journalism with a focus in Strategic Communications. Her background spans event production and design, program development, community engagement and organizing, and development and communications.
Alex Fernandez is a second generation Filipino/American and a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California San Diego and an MPA from the University of San Francisco. Alex is the Associate Director of Systems Innovation at iMentor and serves on the Emerging Leaders Committee of uAspire Bay Area. An alumnus of VONA Voices and AmeriCorps, Alex holds interests in the intersection of Jessica Hagedorn, Bruce Lee, Wakanda, and the Rubik’s Cube. You can find him perpetually searching for a new hobby, cheering for the World Champion Golden State Warriors, and stressing over New York Times alerts in Oakland, California.
Veiongo Finau serves as One East Palo Alto’s Senior Community Organizer/Program Coordinator for YouthEastPaloAlto (YouthEPA) responsible for overseeing community and school site-based components of its youth-led substance use prevention initiative, as well as serve as lead staff for the initiative’s Steering Committee. Veiongo grew up in eastern Menlo Park/Belle Haven a neighborhood adjacent to East Palo Alto (EPA) that is smaller, but demographically very similar. Before coming to OEPA in 2010, she completed a Family Services Certification in Human Services. She held the position of Program Coordinator/Parent Liaison for Pacific Islander Outreach, a community center that provided counseling, school site mentorship, after school tutoring and cultural education for youth and their families challenged with substance use, criminal history, truancy and other identified issues. Over the last 19 years, Veiongo has worked in a variety of local youth-focused nonprofits where she developed excellent planning and analytical problem solving abilities, and an impressive array of community organizing, outreach and recruitment skills. She is also a creative, articulate youth advocate who is passionate about helping to bring disconnected youth back into the fold.
Su Young Jung is the Associate Director of Community at Womankind, formerly New York Asian Women’s Center. She oversees the direct client service at Womankind serving survivors of gender based violence across the life span. Su Young is responsible for developing programming at Womankind, ensuring funding requirements, and providing technical assistance to staff on service provisions to clients. Su Young earned her MA in Mental Health from City College of New York and an MPA from SIPA at Columbia University.
Myoungmi Kim is the Director of Adult Day Care Center. Ms. Kim manages a variety of programs and services to impaired adult seniors and their caregivers by developing implementation and quality assurance processes through the Adult Day Care Center. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for frail older adults. Ms. Kim focuses on intervention programs for Korean elderly populations facing chronic diseases such as diabetes. She is responsible for educating the elderly on health, current events, and ways to live a happier life. She is currently studying MPH (Master of Public Health) based on community health.
Fatima Malik joined South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) in 2015 as the Director of Development & Communications. In this role, she leads a team of three and works to develop and execute SAYA's annual strategic individual, government, corporate, and foundation fundraising plan. She also spearheads the organization’s marketing efforts, ensuring brand fidelity in all external and internal communications. During her time here, SAYA has strengthened its development and operations functions, and grown into a $4.3 million organization. Prior to joining the organization, Fatima spent close to a decade as an advertising creative. She received her BA from Dartmouth College in English Literature and Creative Writing, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a joint Master of Arts in Journalism and Near Eastern Studies from New York University. Passionate about education equity, Fatima serves as an Admissions Ambassador for Dartmouth College.
Janet McIntyre is the Vice President of Programs and Training at Executive Service Corps of Southern California where she is responsible for leading the design and execution of nonprofit leadership institutes and the onboarding and training of the volunteer organizational development consulting corps. Janet is a certified coach, facilitator/trainer, and consultant for social justice organizations and leaders of color throughout the country. She serves as adjunct faculty at Antioch University in Nonprofit Management. Janet earned her Executive Master of Leadership with an emphasis in nonprofit management from USC’s Price School of Public Policy and her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy with honors from Occidental College.
Maria Kei Oldiges lives in Oakland, CA and has worked in nonprofits or publicly funded research for 12 years. Her favorite things in life are justice, good friends, salsa dancing, and swimming. In her current position as Impact Analyst at Beneficial State Foundation, she measures the social and environmental impact of Beneficial State Bank’s lending and other financial services. She also works toward developing mission standards to guide banking practices and build the movement for values-based banking. Previously, she managed a community bail fund for incarcerated people, provided suicide prevention counseling for queer youth, and conducted policy research on a wide range of economic, environmental, and social issues.
Stephen Pham is an Associate Partner on the Research & Development team at The Learning Accelerator, a national education nonprofit that connects educators and leaders with the knowledge, tools, and networks necessary to transform K-12 education. His work involves strategically partnering with sector leaders, leveraging and building data and analytics infrastructure, and testing and disseminating high-potential practices to scale effective, engaging, and equitable practices in schools. Previously, Stephen managed personalized learning and innovation for Rocketship Public Schools, where he also started as a 5th grade STEM teacher and Teach for America corps member after receiving a bachelor’s degree in biophysics from UCLA. Stephen is based out of Seattle and enjoys reading, being active outdoors, and traveling any chance he gets.
Lauren Pongan is the Network Innovations Manager on Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s Policy and Network Innovations Team. She works to build and strengthen partnerships with community-based organizations on policy, advocacy, and mobilization for health equity. Using creative problem solving, Lauren helps to design strategies to strengthen communities and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders across the country. Before joining APIAHF, Lauren was running Asian American immigrant health programs at SEAMAAC, a community-based organization in Philadelphia, her hometown. She earned her MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Washington. Outside of work, you will most likely find her traveling, swimming, hiking, or reading.
Rachelle Samson joined the Visual Communications team in 2016 as the Grants and Communications Manager and recently moved into the role of Strategic Partnerships Director. Rachelle is an experienced fundraising and marketing professional who has worked with various non-profits in fund development and community relations. Before VC, she worked as the Community Outreach Coordinator and Communications Manager at Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) affiliated with Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry and a social service of Little Tokyo Service Center. She has worked on a number of social media engagement campaigns for VC and A3M, and also has extensive experience in event and gala planning. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and Asian American Studies at CSU Long Beach. Rachelle enjoys an active lifestyle, which includes Olympic lifting and running. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys, Roman and Logan. She is originally from the Bay Area and is a 49ers, Warriors, and Giants fan.
Dr. Nira Singh has been the Director of Behavioral Health at AACI since November 2016. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has served for over 25 years in community based, non-profit settings, working with and advocating for underserved and marginalized populations, with a strong focus on programs for immigrant and refugee populations. At AACI, Dr. Singh oversees the diverse range of behavioral health service programs for Survivors of Torture, Family and Children, Adults/Older Adults, CalWORKs beneficiaries, and those impacted by Substance Abuse and Problem Gambling. She oversees a culturally and linguistically diverse and multidisciplinary team including peer support staff, paraprofessionals, interns, licensed staff, registered nurse and psychiatrists. She serves as a clinical supervisor for various staff, doctoral interns and trainees and nurse practitioner intern both within her department, and for the Integrated Behavioral Health program housed in AACI’s Federally Qualified Health Center as well as the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking program. Dr. Singh is also an active part of the Executive Leadership of the agency dedicated to integrated, client centered, culturally competent and trauma informed services.
Kyle Lucia Wu is the Programs and Communications Manager at Kundiman, a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing Asian American literature. She is also the co-publisher of the literary journal Joyland. Kyle was awarded the Asian American Writers Workshop Margins fellowship in 2017, and has received residencies from the Byrdcliffe Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Writing Downtown Residency in Las Vegas. She has an MFA in fiction from The New School and a BA in Psychology from NYU. She teaches at Fordham University.
Lisa Xiong is the Director of Training at Neighborhood Development Center where she uses her passion for helping advance the underserved communities of color by providing access to business trainings that elevates their business goals. She overseas training programs along with its curriculums and business workshops; offered in over 12 Twin Cities low-income neighborhoods; most of which are free and/or subsidize to provide pathways to business start-ups. She has a soft spot for entrepreneurship as she’s an entrepreneur herself; having launched a couple businesses; an interpreting agency when she graduated from high school, to being partner in an insurance brokerage firm that provides life, home, auto, and business insurance, to running a socially driven health & wellness studio with a mission to lessen the health disparity of the community of colors. She’s also been a dedicated community servant leader; serving with the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), the MN Women’s Consortium, MN Hmong Chamber of Commerce, Hmong 18 Clan Council, and Galore: Professional Hmong Women’s Network. She was born in the Ban Vinai refugee camp of Thailand and grew up on the East Side of St. Paul, Minnesota. During her off time, you can find her playing volleyball, on a motorcycle or swimming with her two kids, Andrew and Savanna.
Shuhei Yamamoto is the Managing Director of Social Media Marketing for Teach For America, leading the organization's national social media team. He is in his 10th year on staff at Teach For America, previously working in recruitment and development before finding his niche in social media marketing. Born in Japan, Shuhei is a 1.5-generation Japanese immigrant who grew up in Ohio and Tennessee before attending Duke University in North Carolina. Now based in Chicago, he is a former musician who lives with his partner Jane and spends his spare time obsessing over his pet corgi Uni. He is thrilled to be participating in LEAP Impact.
Last year’s cohort shared the following testimonials with LEAP at the end of the program:
“I'm glad to have met these great people and be able to learn from them. I hope to maintain these relationships as it has really helped me to transition into a better leader.”
“Given the time we spent together getting to know each other, it was clear to see how connected we are to each other. I am leaving feeling invested in all my cohort members' lives and in our collective investment in the lives of our communities.”
“These few days [of the program] have been such a reminder of the strength, brilliance, and collective wisdom of this group and of our communities and…reinvigorated my conviction in wanting to make sure that wisdom and those stories are FULLY represented in our society and that is truly necessary for equity.”
This year, the program will be held from December 10, 2018 – March 21, 2019.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE SPONSORS OF leap impact 2018-2019:
Southwest Airlines is
The Official Airlines of LEAP Impact